Congress on Risks for Public Health & the Environment

Time for Convergence in European Technology Assessment and Risk Assessment

May 16-18, 2012 - Madrid/Spain - Complutense University

Co-organisers: ENSSER, EEA, Fundación Vivosano/Health Defense Organisation, Cátedra Universidad-Empresa-Sindicato: Trabajo, Ambiente y Salud

May 16 (13:30) - Opening

Prof. Emilio Mínguez Torres, Vice-Rector, Technical University of Madrid, Spain

Prof. Antonio Notario Gómez, Director, School of Forestry Engineering, Technical University of Madrid, Spain

Irina Rodriguez de la Flor, Director, Fundación Vivo Sano/Health Defense Organisation, Spain

Dr. Hartmut Meyer, Coordinator, ENSSER, Germany

Roundup Ready Agriculture in Argentina

May 16 (14:00) Analysing the "Package" of GE Soybean Production, Pesticide Use and Export Commodities
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(Moderator: Hartmut Meyer)

    Inherent logic of herbicide tolerant GE crops and bad policy choices
    Dr. Angelika Hilbeck, Chairperson of ENSSER, Switzerland
    (view the video stream)

    Ecological and economic implications after 15 years of transgenic soybean in the River Plate Basin
    Dr. Ana Carolina Herrero, National University of General Sarmiento, Argentina
    (view the video stream)

    Health Implications of glyphosate and pesticide dominated agriculture: Medical aspects
    Prof. Andres Carrasco, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
    (view the video stream)

    Health implications of Roundup and requirements for health safety testing of HR crop plants: Molecular and biosafety aspects
    Nicolas Defarge, University of Caen, France
    (view the video stream)

May 16 (16:30) - Panel Discussion

(Moderator: Irina Rodriguez de la Flor)

Simon Birkett, CEO, Campaign for Clean Air in London, UK

Dr. Henry Dahl, Inter-American Bar Foundation, USA

Dr. David Quist, GenØk - Centre for Biosafety, Norway

(view the video stream)

May 16 (18:30 - 20:00) - Discussion & Conclusions

Christine von Weizsäcker, ECOROPA, Germany

(view the video stream)

Law and Policy Frameworks for Science and Technology Assessment

May 17 (09:15) - Horizontal Issues Session

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(Moderator: Mercy W. Kamara)

    Aarhus Convention: Access to justice, access to participation & information
    Prof. Ludwig Krämer, ClientEarth, Belgium
    (view the video stream)

    Patents and risk research: Access to material, corporate control & independent science
    Dr. Hartmut Meyer, ENSSER, Germany
    (view the video stream)

    Risk assessment under REACH and beyond: Scientific challenges and opportunities
    Dr. José V. Tarazona, Scientific Chairperson, European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), Finland
    (view the video stream)

    ‘Privatizing’ the scientific process - Consequences for risk assessment, regulations and the public interest
    Dr. Angelika Hilbeck, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH), Switzerland
    (view the video stream)
    EU debate on independent science and risk assessment
    Claire Robinson, Earth Open Science, UK
    (view the video stream)

Chemicals and Pesticides

May 17 (13:40) - Vertical Issues Session 1
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(Moderator: Dolores Romano, Instituto Sindical de Trabajo, Ambiente y Salud, Spain)

    Introduction into EU law and policy framework on chemicals and pesticides
    Dr. Lisette van Vliet, Health & Environment Alliance (HEAL), Belgium
    (view the video stream)
    (Eco)toxicological problems regarding pesticides, their chronological summary and main examples
    Dr. András Székács, Academy of Sciences, Hungary
    (view the video stream)
    Bisphenol A and other endocrine disruptors
    Prof. Nicolas Olea, University of Grenada, Spain
    (view the video stream)
    Number of Persistant Organic Pollutants detected at high concentrations in the general population
    Prof. Miquel Porta, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain
    (view the video stream)

    Chemical and Pesticides - Discussion
    (view the video stream)


May 17 (16:00) - Vertical Issues Session 2
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(Moderator: Alex Swinkels)

    Introduction into EU law and policy framework
    Vito Buonsante, ClientEarth, Belgium
    (view the video stream)
    Risk assessment of nanoarticles: Between details and pragmatism
    Prof. Juliane Filser, University of Bremen, Germany
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    Nanodialogues between NGOs and nano-scientists: Co-creating nano-knowledge and realities in a democratic society

    Assistent Prof. Mercy W. Kamara, Roskilde University, Denmark
    (view the video stream)

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    The toxicology of nanoparticles
    Prof. Vyvyan Howard, University of Ulster, UK
    (view the video stream)

    Nanotechnology - Discussion
    (view the video stream)

Electro-Magnetic Fields

May 17 (18:30) - Vertical Issues Session 3
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(Moderator: Diederick Sprangers)

    The two-perspective risk-assessment system on EMFs in Europe: New diseases might be linked to EMFs
    Alex Swinkels, International Electro-Magnetic Fields Alliance (IEMFA), The Netherland
    (view the video stream)
    Mobile communication and the health of the population: risk assessment, social and ethical problems - the Russian view
    Prof Yury Grigoriev, Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection, Russia
    (view the video stream)
    Biological plausibility of carcinogenesis due to electromagnetic fields: The fall of the theorem of impossibility
    Dr. Livio Giuliani, International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety (ICEMS), Italy
    (view the video stream)

    EMF - Discussion
    (view the video stream)

Late Lessions from Early Warnings Vol. 2

May 18 (14:00) - Presentation of Selected Chapters
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    The challenges of the new publication
      Domingo Jimenez Beltrán, Former Director of the European Environment Agency, (EEA
      Bisphenol A: Contested science, divergent safety evaluations
      Presentation by Prof. Nicolas Olea
      Comment by Dr. Lisette van Vliet
      Minamata disease: Catastrophic food poisoning by methylmercury and a challenge for democracy and justice
      Presentation by Dr. José V. Tarazona
      Comment by Dr. András Scékác
      Nanotechnology: Early lessons from early warnings
      Presentation by Dr. Steffen Foss Hansen, Denmark's Technical University, Denmark
      Comment by Prof. Vyvyan Howard
      Hungry for innovation in a world of food: Pathways from GM crops to agroecology
      Presentation by Dr. David Quist
      Comment by Prof. Walter Pengue, National University of General Sarmiento, Argentina (via video)
      The pesticide DBCP and male fertility
      Presentation by Dr. Henry Dahl
      Comment by Vito Buonsante
      DDT - Fifty years since Silent Spring
      Presentation by Peter Pärt


    download Program

    download Expert Profiles

    Film documentary
    "In small prints" / "La letra pequeña"

    Watch the 1:15 hr film with contributions of the conference participants
    in English
    in Spanish

    Media Reporting

    download Overview on broadcasts and new paper articles


    download Announcement (English)

    download Announcement (Spanish)

    Late lessons from early warnings

    Late lessons from early warnings: the precautionary principle 1896-2000

    Late lessons from early warnings is about the gathering of information on the hazards of human economic activities and its use in taking action to better protect both the environment and the health of the species and ecosystems that are dependent on it, and then living with the consequences. The report is based on case studies. The authors of the case studies, all experts in their particular field of environmental, occupational and consumer hazards, were asked to identify the dates of early warnings, to analyse how this information was used, or not used, in reducing hazards, and to describe the resulting costs, benefits and lessons for the future.

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    Health Defense Organisation, Spain

    ENSSER, Germany

    European Environment Agency, Denmark

    GEKKO Foundation, Germany